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Elle Decor Italia

The best of 9 top worldwide design weeks

A journey through the most fascinating contemporary design cities around the world


Light installation by Formafantasma, Spazio Krizia, Milan

Is design, with all its design weeks, going to save the world? One thing is sure: the design craze has managed to seduce the world over the last few decades. Browsing the calendar of events, one cannot fail to notice the growing number of cities hosting increasingly fascinating international design weeks, as many bringers of a positive, powerfully innovative boost. For you design explorers, we have made a selection of not-to-be-missed, worldwide design weeks. You just have to book a one-way open ticket to make a complete journey around the world by following the rhythms and seasons of the Earth’s most vibrant cities – from already legendary design capitals to cities ready to invest in design as an actual resource for the future. 

Let’s start from across the Channel. The London Design Festival in September tranforms the British capital into the throbbing core of contemporary design. Despite Brexit issues and a yet uncertain future for the country, the destiny of design just does not seem to be affected by the late populist repercussions and still provides an opportunity for debate and experimentation. 

Photo credits © Andrea Penisto

The city of Bologna (Italy) hosts, every September, the Cersaie International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings. An unmissable event to discover the latest novelties about everything related to building materials and techniques for living and designing the future. 

After Bologna, our next destination is Beijing. The annual Beijing Design Week, taking place between September and October, illustrates the new face of young, creative China, a country that is definitely unafraid of experimentation, offering a visionary design style imbued with a hi-tech spirit. 

Photo credits © Getty Images

In January, the New Year starts with elegance and French style at Maison&Object  (its latest edition recently concluded on September 12). The traditional Paris fair, evenly spread across the city, brings together the best of international home décor and the most refined handicraft. 


After Paris, our travel distance gets shorter and we move to Germany, and precisely to Cologne, to the Imm Cologne trade fair. It is not surprising that this brilliant showcase of the latest ideas and interior trends is held in one of Germany’s most lively and dynamic cities. 

If you are not afraid of the freezing cold, let’s then proceed towards the Great North. Bravely held amidst February’s ice and snow, the Stockholm Design Week is the most prestigious showcase for everything Scandinavian design related, and definitely stands out for its sophisticated ambience and Calvinist rigor. 

Our next design appointment takes place at an only slightly varied latitude. In March we are once more back to Germany for the Frankfurt ISH che trade fair, focusing on current themes such as renewable energies and solutions for a science/design-driven smart living concept.

The long wait of worldwide design addicts reaches its frenzied, culminating point in April. The Milan Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone offer a real constellation of events, installations, exhibitions, meetings and opportunities, redefining and reinforcing, year after year, the deep connection between the city and the world of design, an academic discipline which has already proved to be a common ingredient in Milan’s everyday life. 

Let’s conclude our journey with the year’s final event in May, with Manhattan becoming a real sacred temple of luxury. Furnishings and unique objects for a 5-star dream home are the undisputed protagonists of the ICFF International Furniture and Luxury Home Interiors fair in New York City.

If you are still hungry for more design shows, the international scene offers a growing number of new realities that have found in design an opportunity to relaunch their economies by generating a formidable power of attraction. Every spring, for example, the Biennale Internationale Design in Saint-Etienne, France, offers a heterogeneous showcase including architecture, design and urban planning. In Eastern Europe Bucharest is emerging as a hub of new, original trends. The Romanian Design Week at the end of May is a stunning kaleidoscope of young talented designers. Despite its pyrotechnic role as a sheik- and emir-centered capital, Dubai, too, has its own design week, because in the end design has the power to transform everything... even sand deserts, if necessary. Also, one last tip: Design Miami, a super cool event in partnership with Art Basel Miami, provides an authentic aesthetic experience, a stunning mixture of artistic avant-garde, déco ambiences and Caribbean moods, all of them blended into America’s most eccentric design district. 

What else are we waiting for? Ready, set, go. Next destination: design!


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